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Industry News Plans Unveiled for New Tallest Building in North America NEW YORK—Manhattan-based design firm MJM+A Architects recently unveiled designs for the Hudson Spire, set to be the tallest structure in North America and third-tallest in the world. Once completed, the 1,800 ft (550 m) tall tower will surpass the One World Trade Center in the United States, and will be the world’s third-tallest building after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and Saudi Arabia’s Makkah Royal Clock Tower. The 110-story mixed-use luxury development will house high-end commercial establishments, several hotels, offices and residential units in the first 85 stories. The top 25 stories will be reserved for luxury residences. The design for Hudson Spire follows the “super tall/super thin” strategy of other recent luxury high-rise residences, mandated by the space, cost and zoning realities of Manhattan property.
NASA Atomic Refrigerator to be Coldest Spot in Universe PASADENA, Calif.—NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory researchers are planning to create the coldest spot in the known universe inside the International Space Station (ISS). “We’re going to study matter at temperatures far colder than are found naturally,” said Rob Thompson, project scientist for NASA’s Cold Atom Lab, an atomic ‘refrigerator’ slated for launch to the ISS in 2016. "We aim to push effective temperatures down to 100 pico-Kelvin." 100 pico-Kelvin is only ten billionth of a degree above absolute zero, where all the thermal activity of atoms theoretically stops. At such low temperatures, ordinary concepts of solid, liquid and gas are no longer relevant. The lab is also a place where researchers can mix super-cool atomic gases and see what happens. “Mixtures of different types of atoms can float together almost completely free of perturbations,” said Thompson, “allowing us to make sensitive measurements of very weak interactions. This could lead to the discovery of interesting and novel quantum phenomena.” That is due to a basic principle of thermodynamics: when a gas expands, it cools.
Americans Broadly Support Energy Efficiency
ROSSLYN, Va.—Efforts to promote energy efficiency enjoy overwhelming support among key political demographics, according to a recent poll by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). The poll found that 9 out of 10 likely voters support energy efficiency as a key part of a solution to energy challenges. An even higher number (94%) said they support using energy-efficient products, with 70% responding that they "strongly" support it. Results showed a desire for greater adoption of efficient technologies throughout our economy, including the federal government, where tax dollars can be saved. The poll of 1,000 likely voters indicated broad support of energy efficiency among conservative, moderate and liberal groups. In addition, each of these groups would be more likely to support a member of Congress who voted for energy-efficiency policies.
Click here to read the results of the poll.
Bipartisan Energy Bills Moving Through Congress
WASHINGTON—The U.S. House of Representatives is considering bipartisan energy legislation that would establish a new voluntary efficiency standard for commercial buildings. It would also require the federal government to set efficiency goals for its data centers, and buildings leased by the federal government to disclose energy use data. Meanwhile, a Senate bill has been reintroduced that was stalled last fall after opponents attempted to attach provisions delaying implementation of Obamacare. Now, the biggest obstacle to the Senate bill appears to be an amendment that calls for the repeal of Section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). This would mandate that the federal government eliminate fossil fuel-generated energy from new and renovated federal buildings by 2030. A number of industry groups have voiced opposition to the measure, including the American Institute of Architects.
Click here to read more about pending House passage of an energy bill.
Click here to read more about reaction to a possible repeal of Section 433 of EISA.
Goodman Facing Lawsuit Over Equipment Defects
PHILADELPHIA—Goodman Global is reportedly facing a possible $803 million payout in damages for defects in its air-conditioning and heating equipment. The company is currently subject to a lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania that alleges Goodman and Amana heat pumps, air handlers and air conditioners contain defective evaporator coils that can leak, crack, and corrode. Plaintiffs claim Goodman has known about the problem since as far back as 2007 and are seeking compensation for repairs performed on the allegedly faulty products. The case, Robert Kotsur v. Goodman Global Inc. et al, is being litigated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
ASHRAE News ASHRAE Honors 2014 'New Face of Engineering'
As part of the recent National Engineers Week, ASHRAE recognized its 2014 New Face of Engineering: Rebecca Delaney, P.E. Delaney is mechanical engineer, Primera Engineers, Chicago. She holds both a Bachelor and Master of Architectural Engineering degree from Penn State University. Delaney has optimized geothermal systems to produce radiant water temperatures without heat pumps and educates her clients on the benefits of radiant heating/cooling systems and the importance of envelope performance to passively reduce thermal loads. The New Faces of Engineering program, developed by ASHRAE during the 2003 National Engineers Week, gives various engineering organizations an opportunity to highlight the work of young engineers and the resulting impact on society.
Feature of the Week Understanding Fuel Savings in the Boiler Room
By David Eoff
A good understanding of boiler efficiency can help building owners and facility managers save on fuel costs. When operated at a 25% capacity factor, a boiler annually consumes four times its capital cost in energy. Burner and combustion control retrofits offer owners the quickest paybacks based on energy savings. This article explains how to better understand the effect of burner and controls performance on efficiency, boiler heat losses, and saving fuel with multiple boiler plants.
This article originally was published in December 2008. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through March 20.
After March 20, access to the article from this eNewsletter will no longer be available. It will remain available for free download by members here and for purchase by nonmembers in the ashrae.org online store.
Packaged Rooftop System From Daikin Applied
MINNEAPOLIS—Daikin Applied offers the Rebel commercial packaged rooftop systems. A new energy recovery option makes the unit more efficient, particularly in applications requiring large amounts of ventilated air. The energy recovery wheel option recovers approximately 75% of energy from the exhaust airstream. As the wheel rotates, outside air is drawn across half of the wheel while exhaust air is drawn across the other half, transferring sensible and latent energy between the ventilation and exhaust airstreams. Free heat and humidity are recovered during winter while free cooling and dehumidification occur during the summer.
Ventilation Products From CertainTeed
VALLEY FORGE, Pa.—CertainTeed announces the introduction of seven new roofing ventilation products. Part of the CertainTeed Integrity Roof System, the new product line includes CertainTeed Ridge Vent, CertainTeed Rolled Ridge Vent and CertainTeed Intake Vent. The products are available in a variety of sizes with filtered and unfiltered options. The products are designed with an external baffle to deflect wind and weather over the vent, creating low pressure above the vent to pull air out.
Heat Recovery Systems From Mitsubishi
SUWANEE, Ga.—Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA introduces the H2i CITY MULTI R2-Series VRF air-source heat recovery systems, which provides low ambient, simultaneous cooling and heating for different zones. The two-pipe product is available in four capacities. Features include flash injection technology for improved heating capacity at lower outdoor temperatures, and an INVERTER-driven compressor.
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